Monday, August 30, 2010

Take Me Home, Country Roads

There are definite signs that not only has elementary school started, but also the upper echelons of schooling. I mistakenly headed to Wal-mart on the Saturday before school started. It was a zoo of students restocking their shelves with binders and twinkies. (Okay, I may have noticed some fresh fruits and vegetables as well.)

The largest sign or should I say smallest sign (license plates aren't that big you know) was the plethora of out-of-town vehicles. My mother and I used to have a competition. We would see who could spot all 50 license plates before the other. It wasn't much of a competition since my mother commuted an hour to Seattle each day and I...drove a few blocks to school. Even when I came out to BYU, I couldn't keep up. Apparently I did not know about the secret weapon of Wal-mart. I wasn't even looking that hard and this is what I came up with. (In no particular order.)

New Mexico
North Carolina
New York

And at least three others that drove by too quickly for me to see. (Grr.) Oh, and I did venture down into the heart of Provo, so we can't give all the credit to Wal-mart. Regardless, I should have won this game a long time ago.

Up for another go, Mom?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Does it bug you?

Is it really anal that I am bugged when Answering Machines are grammatically incorrect. As in:


Jake and Karen (spoken by a real person)

is unavailable (added by the machine)

It just bugs.

Soap Box?

I was going to make a Wordless Wednesday post with just the kids' backpack pictures, but as usual I have something to say concerning the matter. (Oh, and I never posted this I guess. I had it all queued to go and then I forgot to hit publish. Classic Maleen.)

Apparently I have issues with the first day of school fashion trends. I was like any other child, and I carefully picked my outfit for the first day of school. We didn't have a lot of money growing up, so I only got one or two new outfits each year when school started. I picked the one I liked most and would wear it on the first day of school.

Fast forward twenty plus years and I am sending my little chicks out the door. We don't have money to finance new duds for everyone. Most clothes are passed from one child to the next, and like I have said before, they don't mind. So I have been very careful NOT to make a big deal about what you wear on the first day. I haven't mentioned clothing at all. We talk about books, and pencil boxes, where you will sit and what bus to take home, but never what to wear.

Robyn was the first to wake up. Tyler, trying to get her up and rolling (and not knowing my opinions beforehand) says to her first thing, "What do you want to wear on your first day of school?" I held my breathe and then smiled as her sleepy reply came, "A shirt and pants." Good choice Robyn.

Both girls dressed on their own as usual and I approved of both simple outfits. Robyn went off to school and then a neighbor girl came to get June. I kid you not, that the first words out of her mouth when she came in the door and saw June were, "Is that what you are going to wear?"

"Sure," June said and didn't seem to care either way, or even notice that her friend was dressed in a new ensemble complete with matching sash. If only that attitude would last forever. Sadly I know that the older they get, the more influenced they will be by their friends 'casual' comments. I hope they can always feel comfortable being themselves and not wearing a label or a name brand. On the flip side, I don't think I would mind if they want to dress up special for school as long as they realize that clothes don't make the person, that what lies beneath is inherently more important.

But enough of my soap box. The girls had a great day. Robyn left earlier.

I wonder when my kids will finally grow into their backpacks?

June on the other hand didn't even have a backpack because the neighbor girl had already taken it to save her place in line. (Twenty minutes early.)

I guess we will have the lesson about 'it-doesn't-matter-if-you're-first' next week.

May all your kids enjoy their time back at school.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Yep, it's that time of year, where every blog seems to stop for a moment and mention that the kids are back in school. Mine are going back tomorrow.

Granted, I still get to keep three at home, so it is not like I will be lonely or anything, but I always miss the older ones terribly so. Well, I miss them for the first few days and then things fall into a routine. So much so, that when there is a holiday and all the kids will be home, I wonder how I am going to entertain them all. I need to remember this moment; this feeling of loss. I probably am not the first to admit that I am often tempted by the idea of all FIVE in school. What would that be like? Sadly I don't have long until I find out. Okay, I can't decide whether I like them going back to school or not, but since I don't have a choice, we will just vote in the positive.



I signed up for the PTA again, but I haven't ever attended a meeting. This may have something to do with the three little ones still at home. When Pearl is in school, I'll probably run the PTA to keep myself busy. (Just kidding. I'll have to bust out my 'list-of-things-to-do-before-I-have-children' that I made when I was 18. See if there is anything on there I can still sneak in. Or cross off for good. No bungee jumping for me now.) I do have to give the PTA some props. They had some excellent coupons this year for signing up. Like a free tie from Missionary Mall, and free Asphalt Pie from Wingers. (So my weakness.) I guess I will keep signing up, as is my duty.

Off to bed. Cute backpack pictures tomorrow to complete the whole back-to-school theme.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Take Note

Child number four continues to drive me UP a wall. In the last week she has...

1. Used my foundation as lotion.
2. Used my liquid makeup remover to wash her baby (using half the bottle).
3. Drawn all over her walls, bed, and a picture with dry erase marker.
4. Drawn all over her door in pencil less than 24 hours after being severely punished for #3.
5. Taken out about two dozen wipes to wash her baby. (Seriously, how dirty can one baby get?)
6. Sequestered herself in the bathroom six times trying to get into the toothpaste.
7. Sanitized her room, meaning she squirted sanitizer all over her bed and on several books. (And when I say squirted, I mean about about forty plus squirts. We have one very clean book though.)

I keep telling my children to stop growing and stay small, but I think I would like to speed Daisy up a few years and get her out of the terrible twos while I still have my house in tact.

Pearl has been suffering some digestional woes, leading to many poopy diapers, a sore bum, and an exorbitant amount of spit up coming from her small body. (Although Tyler said he weighed her and she was 16 lbs. I'm not sure if I believe that, but it looks like the formula is doing the job.)

The projectile vomiting gets somewhat embarrassing, like when she spit up on a nice gentleman in Tyler's parent's ward. Or when she threw up on the carpet at church three times. My burb cloth was so disgusting by the end of church; not to mention Pearl's clothes, which were soaked. I had forgotten a change for her, so yes, that was my naked baby in Relief Society, in case you were wondering. Her sore bum has led us to leaving her diaperless in hopes of letting her rash get some air. Sadly, we left her unsupervised for too long today and she managed to pee on the only bed not covered in plastic. (MINE!!)

Our ward had a service blitz on Saturday. I liked all of it except for the part where I had to crawl into a trampoline pit where Tyler had just killed a black widow. I was thinking about letting the kids help, up until the spider incident and then I made them all play far away while I tentatively picked up trash and weeds from the pit while watching constantly for widows to crawl across my flip-flopped toes. (Seriously, what idiot wears flip-flops to a service blitz?)

The kids and I went to the Utah County Fair in Spanish Fork. It was a good thing that the entrance was free because I spent more than their weight in tickets for the rides. (Okay, maybe about Daisy's weight.) Daisy was not sure about the Ferris Wheel. She seemed to enjoy it but every time we went over the top, her little body would shake with fear. Daisy also almost managed to steal a cookie from the judged baked-goods. She was fast, but mom was faster. I have to admit though, if I were two and I saw a whole table full of bread, cinnamon rolls, cookies and what not, I would take a swipe at them too. (Even if they were a day old.)

The girls enjoyed the animals and the art exhibits. We stopped to get their faces painted (obviously), do a couple crafts, and then we ended the day with Italian Ice. Tricia was nice enough to accompany us (since it is a little tricky to manage all kids and a baby.) She was very helpful to watch Pearl while I freaked Daisy out on the Ferris Wheel. (Ah, good times.)

Robyn and I went shopping the other day, just the two of us. I love listening to her mind in action. She makes up songs and words all the time. Her most recent definition is:

Tancana (tan-can-uh) adj. someone being very disagreeable or argumentative. ex. Robyn, you are so tancana when you fight with your sisters.

Oddly enough, Robyn is hardly ever tancana. She is sweet and more giggles than grumpiness. Although in the store she made up a rhyme that made me laugh: Hannah Montana tancana.

Our garden is doing as well as can be expected from someone with a black thumb. Our raspberries did well this year, but the boysenberries have been incredible. The girls can't even seem to wait for them to ripen, so we get a lot of half black/half red berries. They make for pretty tart tastes, but Daisy and Ivory down them like nobodies business.

Ivory likes to grab bowls and go harvest the berries and tomatoes. Next year, boysenberry jam.

That is enough catch up for now. School starts in three days. This momma is NOT ready. I hate losing them for over half the day. (Okay, you can borrow Daisy if you want.) I guess this means that we will have to get on a schedule around here. No more sleeping in. (Ha, ha, I jest. I haven't slept in for years.)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Fête Caching

Yes, yes folks. The Cazier holiday has returned. There may have been a lapse last year due to illness of the prenatal variety, but we are back with a vengeance. This is our fifth Fête Day, and the tradition is going strong. This year we were RED. Check out all us handsomes in our red duds. (I guess you will just have to trust me that I wore red as well.)

As usual, we chose an activity to go with our holiday. This year we decided to go geo-caching. Even better, another family who celebrates
Fête Day decided to exchange caches with us. We left a cache for them, and then we went to find theirs. It was a fun find and full of good treasure. Look at our loot.

Love these two by the way. Stephen and Jenaca. I'm so glad they got to come share the Day with us.

Sadly, our cache was not hidden as well and it was discovered by muggles before the other family could retrieve it. The muggles hadn't gone far and they did finally give up their 'stolen' treasure to our hunters. (I would just like to say here how lame that is to take something that is clearly marked for another person. Go ahead and pat yourself on the back for finding hidden treasure, but don't plunder the site. Grrr. Sorry again Keri.)

But I guess it all ended well. Here they are with the cache. Don't you love how much they got into their color?

After Fête caching, we returned home to exchange gifts. I am super proud of the gifts we gave this year. The girls and I went garage sale shopping and we had a blast, not to mention that we spent a little over $5 for everyone's gifts. (That is seven gifts, because we even let Pearl participate.) Here are some of the treasures we got in return. Ivory got one of my favorites. It is a rock, painted red, with red hair. She named it Sunshine.

Pearl is looking stylish in her new pink and red bib.

June got one of our finds at the garage sales. We scored a set of rubber alphabet stamps. Then we got her some red ink. Sadly, it was missing two letters, one of which was 'J'. Oops. I'm sure she wasn't going to spell June anyway.

We finished the night with ice cream cake. Could there be a better holiday than
Fête Day? I mean, if you don't count Christmas, and Halloween, and perhaps the Fourth of July. Okay, could there be a better August holiday than Fête Day? I don't think so.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Change of Scenery

I learned today that two year olds are much harder to photograph than older children; for the simple fact that they don't hold still. I liked the pictures I got, but because I like a shallow depth of field (meaning the background blurry), Daisy's face is not quite in focus in several of the pictures. It is not glaringly noticeable, although I am sure that Tyler will point it out. (He can take the pictures next time.)

I think my main problem was taking all the kids out at once. Daisy was patient enough, but it was obvious that she wanted to be finished with Mom and go play with the girls. I had planned on a one-on-one session, but it is already a month past her birthday and since I actually did her hair this morning, I figured today was as good as any other. So, here are some of my favorites (in no particular order):

This is my fav and will be going up on the wall.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Now You See It, Now You Don't



Robyn had a to get some dental work done, and they decided that while they were messing around in her mouth, they would just pull that front baby tooth. They have hopes this will make the adult tooth grow in faster and help with spacing in the front of her mouth. (Possibly avoiding the braces that her sister will be getting in December. Can anyone else hear the sound of my pockets on fire?)

The Dentist was pretty cool about the pull. They even gave her a mini chest to transport the tooth.

Robyn is positive that the tooth fairy is going to LOVE the chest so she left it with the tooth, in high hopes that she will be rewarded monetarily for her generosity.

Robyn is only six and this is not the first time she has had to endure painful procedures at the dentist. (I don't like reminding myself of the root canal she already had.) She is such a trooper. (Much more so than her mother who sends Dad every time because she doesn't want to watch her little one in pain.) Robyn, I think you are a superhero, with a cute smile. Even when your lips are still numb.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Taste Testing

Pearl prefers to suck on her first finger, however she is up for expanding her pallet. Most often, she will sample thumb since it seems to wander in there on its own.

But of late, she has found foot, which she seems to enjoy just as much.

Foot is harder to hold on to, it is more of the catch and release program. Pearl does NOT smile for the camera yet. She smiles for me, so I am forced to hold the camera to the side hoping to get a good shot while I wrinkle my nose at her for effect.

She is so darn cute.

I love summer evenings. They are perfect, and especially so right now since our neighbors have called the sprayers to keep the mosquitoes at bay. We just chill in the evenings. I couldn't help but dig these two.

Please check out Pearl's awesome mullet in the back. I am thinking of braiding it and making her look like an old Chinese man.

Oh, Pearl....Pearl. Over here, you silly.

That's better.

Just wanted to tell you that I love you. Both of you.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Art You Thinking What I'm Thinking?

I'm thinking that I like going to a FREE art festival. You heard me right. The Park City Art Festival is free on Friday night. We have always ventured out on Saturday, but from here on out, I am liking the evening route. It is cooler (heat wise), and did I mention it is free? Sorry, the more kids you have, the harder it is to do family outings that take moo-la.

We had a really good time. The kids seemed to enjoy the different kinds of art. You will see many things you never expected and I like for them to realize all the varieties of creative there are in the world. Some of the favorites were the large metal bobble head animals. Here is Ivory and Robyn milking the large cow. What kind of milk do you get from a metal cow?

We also saw an area with colorful, Willy Wonka type trees. (If Willy Wonka used metal instead of candy.)

I wish that I had gotten more pictures, but this is the time when Pearl was contentedly chewing on the camera strap and she would voice her discontent whenever we took it away.

We saw some very familiar faces there.

And we shared our goodies as always.

The girls have grown up sharing their treats (something about money again), but I think this is a good character trait to build. Robyn even got her own ice cream cone later on, but she was willing to give all her sisters a bite. Want some?

I was impressed with how well the girls behaved. They stayed close and touched almost nothing. (Except for the large aluminum etched art thingy that read, Please Touch) The man guarding this tree art was especially cranky when he saw small fingers reaching. Perhaps he was worried that he hadn't glued the trees in well enough.

It was a good evening to be out as a family. Put this on your list of things to do next year folks. It is always the first weekend in August. Maybe we will see you there.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Keep On Keeping On

The pictures are stacking up on the computer, and the blog posts are stacking up in my head. You know what that means...Hodge Podge.

Daisy is thinking that she is done napping. I am thinking that I can't quite handle a day where there isn't some free time without chasing a toddler. However, putting her in nap time is hazardous when she doesn't sleep. Yesterday, she took multiple things out of June's drawers, ripped pages out of one of my favorite books, and never actually fell asleep. The day before, she did take a nap but only after pulling ALL of her clothes out of her dresser. But it gave me a good excuse to pull out the two year clothes box and reorganize her drawers.

Daisy goes from being very needy and clinging to my side, to wandering off by herself to get into loads of trouble. I can't decide which is more annoying. I love that she can entertain herself (although I wish it weren't with a roll of toilet paper), and I love that she wants to hang with Mom. I try to make sure that I get some quality time with her. Today, we took pictures together.

Pearl is rolling and scootching. She pushes so hard with her little strong legs that she scootches up a notch on the floor. She does this over and over until she runs her head into something. In this picture, she started on the blanket, but scootched her way over by the chair and if I hadn't stopped her, she was headed for the piano bench, head first.

I had some coupons for Classic Skating that I thought we should use up. Although I didn't realize it was the skating place until I called. See, on Wednesdays, they set up all these bouncing toys in the middle of the rink and people jump in the middle, while others can skate around. It is two dollars a child for an hour, and since I had two coupons, it was only 2 bucks for my four to go romp for an hour. (Daisy was free being three and under.) I sat on the sidelines, Pearl slept, and the girls jumped til they were sweaty and tired. It was a fabulous hour and I was so proud of the girls. They were courteous to those around them, they helped Daisy climb the hard stuff, and they played so well. It was one of those proud mommy moments for me. I really love my girls.

Today I had the great idea to build a fort because I have been cleaning the house all week. (So naturally, it is time to destroy all my hard work.) June asked what a fort was. Yep, I am a terrible mother. So, we built one.

Complete with dog house in the back.

Then I let them use dishes and blankets from all over the house. I am sure that I will be cursing myself later when I am looking for a spoon, but for right now they are entertaining themselves nicely.

Love, love, love these girls.